Chairman Johnson on Front-Line Response to Terrorism in America

WASHINGTON — At the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing Tuesday, “Front-Line Response to Terrorism in America,” senators heard about the need to equip and prepare local law enforcement and first responders for possible attacks. Here are remarks from Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the committee and witness Wally Sparks, chief of Wisconsin’s Everest Metro Police Department.

Click here to watch Sen. Johnson’s remarks.

“This hits really close to home because on Aug. 5, 2012, there was an active shooter at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek Wisconsin, and when you look at the web cam from Lt. Brian Murphy’s patrol car, you see the bravery of the men and women who first respond, who rush into danger.  Now, fortunately, Lt. Brian Murphy is alive today, but he was shot 15 times by the perpetrator of that heinous crime,” said Sen. Johnson.

“I think it is the responsibility of this committee to make sure that the men and women who do so capably and courageously protect our security, that they have the tools and resources to perform their tasks. That’s really what this hearing is about: What tools and resources are required, from a federal government standpoint, how do we prioritize that spending?”

Click here to watch Wally Sparks’ remarks.

Wally Sparks added, “We need to make sure that all the departments out there have at least the basic level of training for active shooter response. It’s critical – there are a lot of small communities that still don’t have that.

“On the information sharing, we’ve got to break down some of those silos, and some of the policies that are inhibiting that free flow of information.”

Sen. Johnson recently held a series of national security listening sessions around Wisconsin to learn more about how matters of national security affect Wisconsin communities and law enforcement.

Watch the full hearing here.

Johnson’s opening statement can be found here.

Witness testimony can be found here.